The Kaizen Company is an incubator for innovative ideas and approaches. We constantly seek to identify, cultivate, and test new ways to overcome challenges and capture opportunities in emerging markets. We have various concepts at different stages of development, including the following:
Access to finance may be the most fundamental barrier holding back locally-driven economic development in the developing world. Many donor-funded projects have worked to connect the supply and demand sides of the finance equation, but usually their approaches are resource intensive. Kaizen has developed a web-based finance matchmaking platform tailored to development needs and goals to greatly increase the number of deals that projects can facilitate with a given set of resources. Funders and seekers of funding create and search profiles on the site that contain information relevant to their target audiences (e.g. finance mechanism, terms, size, industry specialization). This allows beneficiaries to independently identify high potential financial partners, resulting in more completed deals.
Small businesses in the developing world need the increased exposure to their products that leads to increased demand and commercial opportunities. Socially conscious travelers looking for a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience that combines unique personal experience with local impact are often held back because of a lack of funds or inability to make a years-long commitment such as with the Peace Corps. Kaizen is experimenting with a variety of business models that would meet the interests of both groups. The soon-to-be-traveler agrees to sell enough of the small business producer’s goods to pay for or heavily subsidize his/her short-term trip to the country and location of the producer. Producers benefit from a bulk sale of their product and the exposure to new markets while the traveler gets the opportunity to personally meet the small business owners he/she is supporting.